What we say...
Callaway’s tech-packed Apex 21 and Apex Pro 21 hybrids introduce game-changing innovations and aim to reinforce the brand’s reputation as the No.1 hybrid in golf with all levels of golfer covered across the two models.
Replacing the Apex 19 and Apex Pro 19 hybrids, Callaway have introduced their new AI Designed Flash Face SS21 and new Jailbreak AI Velocity blades into both new offerings for 2021, which come with the tagline “There’s nothing like our best”.
RELATED: Tested - Best Hybrids
Let’s take a closer look at the hybrids…
Callaway Apex 21 Hybrid
The new Apex hybrid is a versatile, high-performance, game-improvement club that is designed to blend perfectly with the brand’s Apex and DCB irons.
The high-tech 21 design blends exceptional A.I. ball speed with the brand’s new Jailbreak Velocity Blades into an adjustable, players shape, targeting those who use players’ distance or game-improvement irons.
The Apex 21 hybrid features a carbon crown and uses new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades, engineered to increase vertical stiffness near the sole of the club to create more speed low on the face where players often mishit these clubs.
The blades allow the Face Cup to flex on the crown to promote better spin rate consistency, and the bars are spread to enhance torsional stiffness, leading to more forgiveness all across the face.
The Flash Face SS21 features in every Apex hybrid and has been uniquely designed using Artificial Intelligence, placing an even greater emphasis on fast ball speeds from both centre and off-centre strikes.
Callaway have implemented a massive amount of tungsten weighting into each loft, allowing their R&D team to precisely position the Centre of Gravity lower for a higher launch and to provide more forgiveness on off-centre shots.
Verdict: Callaway Apex 21 hybrid
Callaway hybrids have been a bit hit and miss over the last few years. Last year’s Mavrik Pro was a shape we warmed to, but there was no getting away from it being aimed at ‘players’ much more than average club golfers.
Head shape is important here at TG, because if we’re shelling out £250 for a new hybrid, we need to like the way it looks – and the Apex 21 really hits that sweetspot. The 21 is almost twice the size of the Apex Pro at address, but it sits really nicely alongside
a set of Apex 21 or Apex 21 DCB irons.
In our 2021 Hybrid Test the Apex 21 was comfortably inside our longest five hybrids of the year, but more importantly, thanks to the adjustable hosel, it can be tailored to fill very specific yardage gaps within your bag and help dial in the shot shape or ball flight you’re after.
Got a question about the Callaway Apex 21 hybrid? Ask us on Twitter.
RELATED: Reviewed - Callaway Apex 19 hybrid
What Callaway say about the Apex 21 Hybrid
Dr Alan Hocknell, Callaway's Vice President of Research and Development, on who the Apex 21 hybrid is for...
"It was very important given the changes that we've made to the Apex irons line that we come up with a genuine Apex worthy hybrid and the intent here is for that standard hybrid to be usable by players who would have either the standard Apex set or the DCB primarily, then you'll see how it will fit into other mixtures of those combo sets, too," Dr Alan Hocknell, Callaway's Vice President of Research and Development, told TG.
Dr Hocknell on the differences between the Apex and Apex Pro hyrbids
"It's distinct from the Pro model, which is now more true to its original better player goals and objectives for shape, size and shot type.
Dr Hocknell on the amount of Tungsten being used in the Apex 21 hybrid
"We learned a lot from the Super hybrid that we designed not that long ago about using a large amount of Tungsten in a head like that. A rearward and low location is good for MOI, for lower Centre of Gravity, and the toe bias of it is there to offset the weight of the hosel so you get the left-right or toe-heel control of the centre of gravity by that position of the weight.
"Tungsten is a very dense material and you need quite a lot of it in that location to offset the effects of the hosel."
RELATED: WITB - Callaway's Dr Alan Hocknell
Dr Hocknell on the Jailbreak AI Velocity Blade technology
"The original concept for Jailbreak is to stiffen the body in the vertical direction and if we do that we retain more energy in the face in the impact direction and therefore that results in more ball speed while conforming to the rules we have to abide by.
"Here, though, for the first time we've used our AI tools simultaneously to optimise the vertical stiffening effect at the same time as the face thickness pattern.
"Doing that, the computer kept suggesting to us that there were certain things there would be nice to add in over the original Jailbreak. Yes, retain a lot of vertical stifffness but can we add stiffness in other directions, too, particularly torsional stiffness. And then can we allow the Face Cup that is in our fairway woods and hybrids to flex more in the upper side of the face. So, in other words, move the Jailbreak connection points more to the heel and toe, allowing the face to have a more flexible region, especially high on the face, in order to do its job more effectively.
"So, designing the whole thing as a system versus one part and then optimising another part given some fixed landscape allowed us to really reassess the working of Jailbreak simultaneously with the face.
"The fairway woods and hybrids are very different shapes and sizes than drivers, primarily a much shallower face. Face Cup Technology in there, a lot of impact locations low on the face, a desire to have weight low in the head as well, so with all of those things in there the balancing of the Jailbreak function is naturally different to with a driver and it stands to reason that we'd come up with a different solution. The Velocity Blades are a more optimal solution for the shape and size of this material and objective functions of this type of club."
Callaway Apex Pro 21 Hybrid
The Apex Pro 21 hybrid is far smaller and more compact than the standard Apex model and is designed for Tour players and low handicappers who use hybrids from the tee on par 4s and for versatility on par 5s.
The new model has similar shaping and centre of gravity to the Apex 16 hybrid but incorporates the brand’s new Jailbreak AI velocity blades, which are engineered to increase vertical stiffness near the sole of the club and create more speed low on the face where players often mishit their hybrids.
In turn the blades allow the forged 455 High Strength Face Cup to flex on the crown to promote better spin rate consistency, and the bars are spread to enhance torsional stiffness, leading to more forgiveness all across the AI-designed Flash Face and create the consistent ball speeds players desire.
Callaway expect this to be their No.1 hybrid on Tour this year, with its iron-like design and fixed hosel providing the look highly skilled players prefer to see from their hybrids.
Adjustable sole weights allow engineers to calibrate the club to your exact needs.
RELATED: Reviewed - Callaway's Mavrik hybrid
Verdict: Callaway Apex 21 Pro Hybrid
If you’re buying a set of ‘players’ irons (like the Callaway Apex Pro or Apex TCB) in 2021, explore how a players hybrid compares to the long irons. The Apex Pro makes an excellent players long iron replacement, especially if you put a premium on workability and control over distance.
For some the narrower head shape will be intimidating, but that’s exactly why there’s a wider body standard Apex. If you’re considering it as a standalone (without the matching irons) check out the TaylorMade SIM 2, too.
What Callaway say about the Apex 21 Pro Hybrid
Dr Alan Hocknell, Callaway's Vice President of Research and Development, on who the Apex 21 Pro hybrid is for...
"The type of player we are targeting here would be looking for a more clear iron replacement type of golf club. We are looking at a launch window that is more iron like, lower with more spin. This sort of player probably still generates plenty of head speed but there is a ball speed advantage from Face Cup Technology, but at the same we're trying not to go for quite so much high launch and low spin.
"The shape and size of this club and the way the hosel blends to the face are all more iron-like looks that would suit or be sought after by better players."
Dr Hocknell on how Apex 21 Pro hybrid differs from the Callaway Apex 21 hybrid...
"Compared with the Apex there's less of a priority on getting the weight down lown, a bit less of a priority on producing very large MOI because this player type is looking for a little more spin than the other model and the likely impact location variation is lower from a player of this standard."
Got a question about the Callaway Apex 21 Pro Hybrid? Ask us on Twitter.
READ NEXT: Reviewed - Callaway Apex 21 irons
Callaway Apex 21 hybrid
Loft, lie and length: 3H (19º, 58º, 40.5"), 4H (21º, 58.5º, 40"), 5H (24º, 59º, 39.5") and 6H (27º, 59.5º, 39").
Swing weight: All D2.
Left handed: Yes, 3H-5H.
Stock shaft: UST Recoil Dart 75g shaft (L, R, S).
Stock grip: Golf Pride Z Grip Soft.
Callaway Apex 21 Pro hybrid
Lofts, lie and length: 2H (18º, 57º, 40.5"), 3H (20º, 57.5º, 40"), 4H (23º, 58º, 39.5"), 5H (26º, 58.5º, 39").
Swing weight: All D3.
Left handed: Yes, 2H-5H (2H in custom only).
Stock shaft: Mitsubishi MMT 70g (L, R) and 80g (S, X).
Stock grip: Golf Pride Z Grip.